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Old April 19, 2019, 01:50 PM   #1
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Caliber effectiveness

https://youtu.be/T6kUvi72s0Y

Found a great video on handgun wounding and the realities of bullet performance.

Not trying to start a caliber war...far from it. Im hoping to put some of the myths we hear repeated endlessly to rest.
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Old April 19, 2019, 02:40 PM   #2
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Agree with video 100%

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Not trying to start a caliber war...far from it.
CALIBER WAR IN T-10 SECONDS.....All hands stand by for caliber war.
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Old April 19, 2019, 02:56 PM   #3
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Should be required viewing for anyone before posting about handgun effectiveness. But what would we have to talk about?
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Old April 19, 2019, 03:24 PM   #4
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But what would we have to talk about?
Steel vs. alloy vs. "plastic"
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Old April 19, 2019, 05:41 PM   #5
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AK vs AR
Battle rifle vs assault rifle
Ginger vs Maryanne.

The normal stuff.
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Old April 19, 2019, 06:24 PM   #6
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Good video!
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Old April 19, 2019, 07:47 PM   #7
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I didn't watch the video, having had my fill of "stopping power" debates since the '70s, but the one piece of interesting research I've read in the last ten years involved looking beyond the "one-shot stop".

When people are shot once, they might be stopped ballistically, but they might also be stopped by, "Aaagh, I've been shot", even if the hit was in an extremity, and in not debilitating or life-threatening.
That's why some analysis of actual shootings may show .32 ACP has OSS abilities as good or better than .45 ACP; shoot the jealous boyfriend in the foot with a .32, and he's done.

When looking at shooting incidents in which more than one hit was recorded, there's a much stronger correlation between bullet diameter and the number of rounds fired; the bigger the bullet, the fewer rounds required for a stop.

That's in line with both "handgun rounds don't have stopping power", and the fact that a bigger bullet causes more damage to anything that it does hit.
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Old April 19, 2019, 09:33 PM   #8
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While some good points were made, a lot in that video was over-simplified in order to fit into a 12 minute Youtube videos that people will watch (it's pretty well known that the majority of Youtube viewers tune out after 10-15 minutes).

For example, while Boden and Laack make good points about ballistic gel and its value, Baker tries to justify Lucky Gunner's use of Clear Ballistic gel by saying that the results are "comparable" and that the biggest difference is the temporary cavity. Unfortunately, Mr. Baker doesn't mention that Clear Ballistics gel often retards expansion and increases penetration of a given loading when compared to calibrated 10% Ordinance gel.

As is pointed out, ballistic gel is a model and can't be expected to give an exact 1 to 1 ratio of penetration and expansion when compared to a living organism. What is failed to be mentioned with that calibrated 10% ordinance gel is the industry standard because it is considered to be the closest repeatable approximation that we have to actual living tissue. While other media can give us repeatable results, the less similar they are to actual living tissue the less useful testing with them is. This is why I questioned the usefulness of Lucky Gunner's testing in another thread: the media they chose cannot be trusted to give an accurate approximation of living tissue.

Another issue is Mr. Laack repeating what I refer to as "the magic velocity number" myth. According to Mr. Laack, bullets to not generate a significant enough temporary stretch cavity to overcome the elastic limits of human tissue until they reach the "magic number" of 2200 fps (the "magic number" seems to vary depending on who is quoting it). Because rifle bullets often travel at so much greater velocity than handgun bullets, it is often assumed that velocity is the reason that rifles are more effective. The reason, however, is that rifle bullets typically have much more energy than handgun bullets and increasing velocity is the most efficient (though not only) means of increasing energy.

If the "magic number" of 2200 fps were really the defining characteristic, then a .17 HMR loaded with a 17 gr bullet at 2530 fps should be more effective than a .45-70 loaded with a 300 gr bullet at 1850 fps since the .17 HMR surpasses the 2200 fps "magic number" while the .45-70 does not. Of course we know this is not the case, the .45-70 is more effective because despite its lower velocity, it has much greater energy due to its much heavier 300 gr bullet.

Also, while handgun bullets may not exceed the elastic limits of living tissue much of the time, this certainly isn't the case all the time. Living organisms are not homogenous like ballistic gel and different types of tissues have different elastic limits. Also, some of the more powerful handgun cartridges like .44 Magnum or .454 Casull can create much larger temporary cavities than the more typical service cartridges like 9mm or .45 ACP. Many of these Magnum-class cartridges can produce very impressive temporary cavitation which is comparable to those produced by smaller centerfire rifle cartridges like .223 Remington.

Now, I was willing to give Mr. Laack the benefit of the doubt because he's the head of the law enforcement division and most of what he was saying is consistent with what is typically seen in common law enforcement calibers (few police agencies use .17 HMR, .45-70, or .44 Magnum). That is, I was willing to give the benefit of the doubt until he said that the extra energy of a powerful handgun like a .44 Magnum is "obliterated" or "washed away" by the temporary stretch cavity. Newtonian physics tells us that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, therefore it is impossible for it to be "obliterated" or "washed away". In the example he gives of a .44 Magnum vs. a .40 S&W, the extra energy of the .44 Magnum will translate to either a significantly larger temporary cavity or substantially greater penetration. Now, it is possible that a shot with a .44 Magnum might have little more effect than one with a .40 S&W, but that would likely be because the part of the body struch was one with a high elastic limit like muscle or bowel or because the .44 Magnum was loaded with a bullet that displayed little or no expansion (such as a JSP or LSWC) and simply penetrated through-and-through.

Mr. Boden states that velocity and energy helps to achieve the expansion and penetration that we desire but that they don't 100% correlate with effectiveness and this is correct, but warrants further explanation. Velocity and energy are pieces of the puzzle rather than the answer in and of themselves just as expansion and penetration are pieces of the puzzle. A 90 gr 9mm JHP at 1500 fps will have a lot of energy and will expand violently, but it's generally considered a poor choice because it will likely penetrate shallowly. Likewise, a .38 Special loaded with a 200 gr JHP at 600 fps will probably penetrate quite well, but it's also considered a poor choice because it has little energy and likely won't expand.

Mr. Boden's example of a hot 10mm possibly showing over-penetration or over-expansion and under-penetration is a good example of matching bullet design to velocity. For example, if you loaded a 115 gr .355 Winchester Silvertip (which expands quite easily) in a .357 Sig at high velocity, you'd likely get over-expansion and/or fragmentation and shallow penetration. Just as undesirable, however, would be to load a 115 gr .355 Hornady XTP (which is a "tough" bullet designed for controlled expansion) into a .380 Auto at low velocity as you'd get over-penetration with little or no expansion.

Finally, while only mentioned in passing in the video, most of the standards that so many of us want to judge handgun ammo by are based on the standards set for by the FBI. What is important to remember is that the FBI standards are set with law-enforcement in mind and that the needs of a private individual and those of an LEO are often quite different. For example, while most people only look at, or only know about, the FBI's bare gel and heavy clothing tests, they actually test bullet through a variety of intermediate barriers including drywall, sheet steel, plywood, and auto glass. This is because it is not uncommon for a LEO to engage an enemy who may be seeking cover behind an intermediate barrier.

A private individual, however, would likely be harder pressed to explain why it was necessary to shoot someone through an interior wall or windshield. Because of this, the bare gel and heavy clothing tests are most useful to the private individual. A police agency may very well choose a particular loading that doesn't perform quite as well as another in bare and clothed gel because it is markedly superior in the other intermediate barrier tests.

Also, it seems that too many people get hung up on one particular facet of a bullets performance to the point of forgetting why that facet was desirable to begin with. For example, many people would look down their noses at Remington's 158 gr SJHP .357 Magnum loading because it usually displays a good bit of fragmentation. There seems to be an obsession these days with 100% weight retention but most forget why fragmentation was considered undesirable to begin with. In most common service calibers, significant fragmentation reduces bullet weight, and therefore momentum, so much that penetration is reduced to undesirable levels. Also, weight retention is very important when penetrating intermediate barriers like drywall, plywood, steel, and auto glass. The Remington .357 Magnum loading however, drives a heavy enough bullet with a high enough cross-sectional density fast enough to both penetrate adequately and expand well despite its tendency to fragment and, to the private individual, weight retention's impact on intermediate barrier penetration probably isn't all that relevant.
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Old April 19, 2019, 09:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Another issue is Mr. Laack repeating what I refer to as "the magic velocity number" myth. According to Mr. Laack, bullets to not generate a significant enough temporary stretch cavity to overcome the elastic limits of human tissue until they reach the "magic number" of 2200 fps (the "magic number" seems to vary depending on who is quoting it).
The funniest part of that is that very few people actually know where that came from and the lack of significance to it today.

It came from a paper written by Theodore Koch, A German Scientist in1885 or so. At the time there was no smokeless powder, rifles fast (2000 fps)..... pistols slow(1000 fps).......They did not even have a way to really measure velocity accurately. They started doing experiments on cavitation with bullets only testing a couple calibers discovering that the bigger the diameter of the bullet the less velocity was needed to cause damage associated with the stretch cavity.

As a retired homicide detective buddy of mine is fond of saying "Magical things start happening when handgun bullets start breaking 1300 fps."
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Old April 19, 2019, 11:14 PM   #10
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Weblymkv post #8 was golden. There are a few points I feel could be added to it...

I didn’t watch the video and probably won’t. In reading the comments responding to it, I feel as though I have a contest as to its topic. That topic essentially insists that basically all handgun calibers have so similar of a wounding capacity that there is no practical difference. Well, I do expect that the video doesn’t suggest we all carry 32acp. After all, parity doesn’t happen until we get to 9mm, right? After 9mm everything is the same, but 32 is a pea shooter round. At least that’s the usual argument.

Velocity is but one factor in caliber performance. Velocity tends to improve k/e exponentially, and since k/e is the standard “measurement” for comparative strength (or weakness) of calibers much more emphasis tends to gravitate toward lower projectile mass and greater projectile velocity. I have no issue with using k/e in the manner the industry does, it is likely the best single number to compare calibers and ammo.

But k/e doesn’t tell the whole story. There are two other major factors. One is diameter (larger wound cavity), and the other is momentum (mostly associated with penetration but it’s more than that too). Don’t believe me? The 45/70 and .223 Remington have strikingly similar k/e. Can anyone make a straight faced argument that the 223 is as lethal as the 45/70? As effective and humane with even moderate sized thin skinned animals such as larger whitetail? We all know the answer. That diameter and momentum count for something. While an extreme example, it does help to explain why 44 mag really is more lethal than 40 s&w assuming the exact same shot placement.
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Old April 20, 2019, 08:28 AM   #11
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This explains why military and police stopped using Winchester 94. The 30-30 just too marginal in stopping power
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Old April 20, 2019, 11:01 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by TxFlyFish View Post
This explains why military and police stopped using Winchester 94. The 30-30 just too marginal in stopping power
I don't know about the police, but I don't think our military has fielded that rifle or cartridge.

-TL

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Old April 20, 2019, 11:13 AM   #13
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5Whiskey said:
Quote:
I didn’t watch the video and probably won’t.
You should watch the video..
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Old April 20, 2019, 11:39 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by TxFlyFish View Post
This explains why military and police stopped using Winchester 94. The 30-30 just too marginal in stopping power
I don't know about the police, but I don't think our military has fielded that rifle or cartridge.
LOTS of police use of the Winchester 94. Military M94's in 30-30? Not aware of any
US combat use, but U.S. marked 94's certainly exist. Do a search for "Spruce gun".
They were used by US military to guard forests in WWI.

Model 94's were purchased by England, France and Canada and issued to troops---with
the French guns being most likely to have been used in actual combat.
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Old April 20, 2019, 12:15 PM   #15
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I agree with much of what is said in the video and nearly all of what was posted by Webleymkv and and 5whisksy.

I think the film might have said more about the limitations of ballistic gelatin. There is no doubt that as a reproducible system for testing terminal ballistics of firearm projectiles, ballistic gelatin is of great value. But the only living tissue that it simulates is muscle tissue and tissues of very similar density, and even then there are very great differences between muscle tissue and ballistic gelatin that can and do influence the terminal ballistic performance of projectiles.

Skin, fascia, tendon, and of course bone, are all significantly denser than muscle tissue, and at least one of these tissues will be involved in any animal firearm wound. And there are tissues that are much less dense - lung, for example. All tissues including muscle are anisotropic, so the performance of a projectile can potentially be affected by the direction and angle at which the projectile transits the tissue.

Most importantly, although gelatin derives from living tissue, it consists largely of hydrolyzed collagen. The protein fibers of the collagen have been broken down into short peptide chains of various molecular weights but there are no long, intact collagen chains to maintain structural integrity. And there are no intact elastin fibers to provide the same type of elasticity that living tissue exhibits. So ballistic gelatin tends to fragment in ways that real tissue would not. Ballistic gelatin is also pretty much isodense and isotropic in structure. Projectiles in ballistic gelatin do not tend to deviate off-course or lose velocity as they encounter structures of greater density they way the are frequently observed to do with gunshot wounds in real tissue.

Although projectiles of higher kinetic energy may expend a portion of that energy by temporary displacement of elastic tissues, it is highly questionable whether that energy expenditure correlates with any effective wounding mechanism, at least insofar as handgun projectiles are concerned. I think the video does a reasonable job of making this point. But the video also suggests that projectiles that exceed a certain velocity and energy will invariably cause tissue damage as a result of the temporary cavity exceeding the elastic limit of the tissue and I do not believe this to be invariably true.

At least so far as the .223 Remington/5.56x45 cartridge is concerned, damage might certainly occur outside the direct crush channel of the projectile, but this is not invariably the case, even when the wound occurs as a result of a relatively long-barreled rifle shot at a relatively short range. There have been many such wounds observed in which the projectile encountered only soft tissues and did not tumble or fragment, in which the significant damage was confined only to the crush channel resulting in a .22 caliber "ice pick" wound.

People have been searching for some simple metric which will define the wounding effectiveness of projectiles for many years. I do not believe that any such simple metric exists that will satisfactorily predict wounding effectiveness, but I tend to look much more at projectile momentum rather than kinetic energy. It is momentum that tends to determine whether a body in motion remains in motion in the same direction when it encounters another body. And ballistic gelatin, being rather homogenous in composition, never fully demonstrates the effect of greater momentum.

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Old April 20, 2019, 01:28 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillM View Post
LOTS of police use of the Winchester 94. Military M94's in 30-30? Not aware of any
US combat use, but U.S. marked 94's certainly exist. Do a search for "Spruce gun".
They were used by US military to guard forests in WWI.

Model 94's were purchased by England, France and Canada and issued to troops---with
the French guns being most likely to have been used in actual combat.
The spruce production division is indeed an interesting piece of history. I haven't heard of it till I looked it up just now. Thanks.

Regarding 30-30 for real combat use, a military must be very desperate to field this caliber, more so than our army entering the war with shortage of combat rifles.

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Old April 20, 2019, 03:15 PM   #17
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AR, Battle Rifle, MaryAnne

AR because the design lends itself easily to freakish accuracy and there is little interesting about an inaccurate rifle. Except if you are a man alone in a combat situation then several of my pals that were combat soldiers said “ak all day”.

Battle Rifle because Grandad’s 30-06 has only one disadvantage, it might have more horsepower than is needed for white tail deer. Moose, elk, bears... velociraptors... 30-06 will do that too.

Mary Anne because she’s prettier anyhow and low maintenance to boot!

It is not a matter of hardware, it’s a matter of tactics. Large bore handguns plan on devastating bone crushing one shot stops. 9mm uses the strategy of putting two or three bullets in to the target because more rounds in the magazine and less recoil than the .45

.223 was adopted because of logistics and squad based units. Then it makes sense. 30-06 was developed because the prevailing tactic of the day was shooting machine guns at 2,000 yards or something like that. AK was made for a guy alone in the mud and dirt that hasn’t cleaned his rifle in too long but he needs it to go bang and needs it to do a lot of damage since he has no backup.

This stuff about shooting jello and fighting about it seems silly to me. Why not shoot steel pigs and rams and chickens at various ranges and see who gets the best scores using what equipment? You can’t argue there.

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Old April 20, 2019, 10:40 PM   #18
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I agree the video is the same regurgitated crap.

I thought it would be better considering....
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Old April 21, 2019, 02:57 AM   #19
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9mm uses the strategy of putting two or three bullets in to the target because more rounds in the magazine and less recoil than the .45...…
AK was made for a guy alone in the mud and dirt that hasn’t cleaned his rifle in too long but he needs it to go bang and needs it to do a lot of damage since he has no backup.
I almost expect you to try and sell me a bridge, next...

The original 9mm pistol, the Luger had an 8 round magazine. So did its replacement, the P.38. For the German military, using FMJ ammo, for over 40 years and two World Wars, apparently, 8 was enough... (and they didn't lose either of those wars because of "only" 8 round pistols...

The first double stack 9mm (13rounds) didn't arrive until 1935, and it was virtually all alone for another 20 years or so.


Some say 2 or 3 9mm, because the mag holds more, some say 2 or 3 9mm because it takes more to work....opinions vary..

And the AK? designed for a guy alone in the mud? Hogwash.

The AK was designed to arm Soviet rifle troops. Poorly trained semi-literate peasant conscripts, perhaps, but hardly one guy alone in the mud.

The fact that the AK generally works for that one guy alone in the mud doesn't mean that's what it was designed for.
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Old April 21, 2019, 05:15 AM   #20
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I have an honest question I do not know the answer to.

I accept the idea that at the end of the day,on the morgue slab.the lethality of an effective 9 mm vs 45 hit may not make much difference.

I won't argue the point.

I do notice in the high speed photog, between various loads,the temp cav reaction is more violent and dramatic with some loads than with others.
I understand,its temporary.I understand,the coroner does not see it.I understand,there may be no data to evaluate.

My question is not about the terminal outcome..What part does violent temporary cavitation play on the bad guy for the two or three or five seconds following the shot. Will the bad guy take two or three seconds longer to recover from the OOOOFFFF! factor from twice the temp cavitation?
That OH,goodness,I just got punched in the solar plexus,I need a few seconds" time.

Yes,in an hour,both wounds will be fatal,but if the violent round gains two seconds of temporary incapacitation,its time he is not shooting,and its time for follow up shots or moving.


I'm not taking about the "My blood pressure is failing,my lungs are collapsing,my eyes are going dark,my knees buckle and I'm out"


I'm talking about the baseball bat to the gut time.


Am I all wet,or does the idea have merit?

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Old April 21, 2019, 06:25 AM   #21
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I think of a handgun bullet wound as a combination of blunt trauma and penetrating wound.

The temporary cavity equates to blunt trauma. It causes pain, bruising, and may, if the right organs are involved, cause some wounding. Think of it as a punch. It won't generally cause any significant injury unless certain organs are involved. The spleen, for example, isn't very elastic and can be ruptured by blunt trauma. The liver is the same.

The penetrating wound goes deep and is likely to cause serious injury because when you start poking holes all the way, or at least most of the way through a human body, it's likely something important will be damaged. It may or may not cause immediate pain, but if you die or become physically incapacitated, the penetration aspect of the bullet wound is probably what caused it.

You want both. It's pretty obvious why you want penetration--if physical incapacitation is necessary that's the way you're going to get it. Also, the penetrating aspect of the wound is a big part of why guns are so feared.

But you also want the blunt trauma because it immediately lets the attacker know that an injury has taken place. It's of no value if the attacker bleeds out 5 minutes after killing you. Most handgun "stops" are due to the attacker giving up and their understanding that they have been shot is an important factor in that respect.

In my opinion, the "notification" aspect of the temporary cavity is likely the biggest benefit of expansion in handgun rounds. Good expansion causes a bigger temporary stretch cavity. The larger the stretch cavity is, the stronger the "punch" that the attacker feels and the more likely they are to interpret the injury as serious and give up.
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Old April 21, 2019, 12:47 PM   #22
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John gives us some excellent points, here, known to some, and ignored by a great many.

A big one is the main flaw in "one shot stop" data. There are two kinds of stops. One, where a bullet strike physically stops the attacker from further attack, the other, is where the attacker stops themselves (consciously or unconsciously) because they were struck by a bullet.

This, the specific reaction to being shot, isn't something that can be predicted in advance, or quantified and plugged into any mathematical formula.

Literally, every single individual could react differently. You might have the bad luck to be facing a "terminator" type, who absolutely will not stop, until physically disabled. Or you might be facing the type that collapses because they were shot, somewhere, and thousands of hours of video training via TV movies, and games has "taught" them that when shot, one falls down.
Or you might face anything inbetween.

I knew a cop who got hit with a .22 Magnum during a gunfight. Bullet entered his arm just below the elbow, and went down his arm, ending up embedded in the wood grip of his service revolver. He said he never even noticed it, until after the fight was over, and he discovered he was bleeding. THEN, it "hurt like hell"...

Served with a guy who took 3 AK hits to his torso, he said that while he noticed the first two hits, they didn't stop him, but that 3rd one knocked him down...
I saw a guy take a .357 through his shin. He stayed on his feet for maybe 10 seconds, swaying, looking at the blood pouring out, then collapsed.

If the bullet, rifle, pistol, or even shotgun slug, doesn't hit one of the "off buttons" the reaction can be hugely different with each different person. Can be, not "will always" be. Those hits might be fatal, later, but might not be instantly incapacitating


The big flaw in one shot stop data, and to a much lesser degree, ALL "stopping power" data is that we can almost never know, with certainty the exact reason the attacker stopped. If they died, there's no point in asking them, they won't answer. If they didn't, they may not know, or realize if they were stopped or stopped themselves.

And collecting data from police reports etc., can only tell us what happened, not why it happened the way it did.

I agree that, what ever actually causes it, an attacker feeling the "punch" or "bite" of being shot ups the odds of ending the attack.
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Old April 21, 2019, 01:49 PM   #23
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Yea, another one.

Not worth watching as its irrelevant to the real world.

Like all things, that is where data counts.

And its all percentages. Some days they are with you and other days not.
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Old April 21, 2019, 02:01 PM   #24
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Too much hipster.
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Old April 21, 2019, 05:30 PM   #25
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Although projectiles of higher kinetic energy may expend a portion of that energy by temporary displacement of elastic tissues, it is highly questionable whether that energy expenditure correlates with any effective wounding mechanism, at least insofar as handgun projectiles are concerned
Then how do you explain the differences between the 38 Special and the 357 Magnum when the only difference in more energy?

Quote:
The original 9mm pistol, the Luger had an 8 round magazine. So did its replacement, the P.38. For the German military, using FMJ ammo, for over 40 years and two World Wars, apparently, 8 was enough... (and they didn't lose either of those wars because of "only" 8 round pistols...
8 was enough because the pistols were used for shooting deserters and trouble makers, not fighting, historical doctrine.
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